Decided on March 28,1972



- (1.) THESE two Special Civil Applications were filed on behalf of Shrimati Balubai Motebarali and involve a common question as to whether the respondent No. 1 in each of these matters who are tenants become owners under Section 32 of the portions of the land left with them after the landlady recovered possession of half fo the land under Section 31.
(2.) THE Agricultural Lands Tribunal and the Additional Mamlatdar, Yawal, held that because the landlady had applied under S. 31 read with S. 29, of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948, for recovering possession of the land for bona fide personal cultivation and obtained possession after fighting the litigation up to the Revenue tribunal of the half portion on May 16, 1964, she became the owner of the land. The said order of the Agricultural Lands Tribunal was set aside by the Special Deputy Collector, Jalgaon, who following a decision of the Revenue Tribunal reversed the finding of the Mamlatdar. He held that on the date of the final rejection of the landlady's application by the Revenue Tribunal on December 13, 1963, the tenant became the statutory owner, following a decision of the Revenue Tribunal in some other case. The said order of the Deputy Collector is confirmed by the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal in a revision application filed by the original petitioner Shrimati Balubai, following the above said decision of the Tribunal and other decisions in which it was held that the day on which the application under Section 31 was decided, as possession of the suit land was retained with the tenant, the tenant became the statutory purchaser on that date.
(3.) THE said view is challenged before me by Mr. Shastri who appears for some of the heirs of Balubai who died during the pendency of the above petition, on the ground that the view taken by the Tribunal is contrary to the view of this Court with regard to the scope and effect of Section 32-F taken in some of the unreported decisions of this Court. Apart from authorities, the sections themselves, in my judgment, leave no doubt that Section 32-F cannot be attracted in respect of the land remaining with the tenant after an application filed by a widow under Section 31 is decided. In the present case we are concerned with Shrimati Balubai who had terminated the tenancy under Section 31 for bona fide personal cultivation. Although under Section 31 (3), the rights of termination are given to the successor-in-title of a widow, it is now settled that even a widow could make an application under Section 31. If she exercises that right, that right was subject to the provisions of Section 31-C which laid down that the tenancy of any land left with the tenant after the termination of the tenancy under Section 31 shall not at any time afterwards be liable to termination again on the ground that the landlord bona fide requires that land for personal cultivation. Under Section 32 (1-B) Proviso, whenever an application is made by the widow under Section 29, the tenant becomes owner when the order rejecting the application is finally passed. In the present case the order was finally passed by the Revenue Tribunal and the Deputy Collector and the Tribunal have held, therefore, that the date of the order of the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal was the date on which the tenants in the two cases became the statutory purchasers under Section 32.;

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